The Caraga Administrative Region XIII was created in 1995 by virtue of Republic Act No. 7901, through the initiative of former Agusan del Norte 1st District Representative Charito B. Plaza. Caraga Region is originally composed of the cities of Butuan, Surigao and Bislig, and the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Sur, Surigao del Norte and Sur, with Butuan City as the regional center.
Also in the same year, then DOTC Secretary Jesus B. Garcia Jr. initially established in Caraga the regional office of the Land Transportation Office(LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The LTO-Caraga wad headed by OIC Regional Director Eleuterio A. Retuya, while the LTFRB-Caraga was headed OIC Regional Director Alexander P. Mama-o.
On January 15, 1996, Secretary Garcia issued Department Order No. 96-912, establishing the DOTC-Caraga Regional Office which was tasked to implement the inherent functions of three (3) sectoral agencies, namely: the LTO,LTFRB and the Telecommunication Office (TELOF). This setup was patterned after the DOTC-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Baguio City.
As a consequence of the department order, Secretary Garcia issued a special order designating Director Retuya as OIC for the regional office, with Director Ong as OIC for LTO operations and Director Mama-o for LTFRB operations. The operations of TELOF had remained with its provincial officer, Engr. Apolonio Cosare, but with its operation directly under the supervisor of the regional office.
On the other hand, other sectoral agencies of the department that were operating in the Caraga Region, such as Philippines Ports Authority (PPA), Air Transportation Office (ATO), and Philippine Cost Guard (PCG) , were also placed under the DOTC-Caraga, but only insofar as their being members of the Regional Management Council (RMC) in the region. The operation has remained under their respective regional offices.
The newly-created regional office suffered with some transitional issues, particularly on the manpower complement.Despite this, through the combined efforts of the three directors, the regional office was able to surpass those issues, and in fact was commended during the Regional Director’s Conference in Manila on January 24,1997, for being on top of the rest offices in terms of percentage increase in revenue collection and in the apprehension cases that we were handled for that year.
In 1997, a substantial personnel complement was finally put in place, including the budget allocation and office equipment Directors Retuya and Mama-o were also appointed as regular Regional Director and Assistant Regional Director, respectively.
With this development, the regional office has wasted no time in constructing its own building at the back of the LTO-Butuan District Office. The completion of the LTO-Tandag District Office was also expedited, along with the construction of the LTO Patin-ay and Bislig District Offices. The LTO Patin-ay District Office was completed during the tenure of Director Mama-o in 1997.
Meanwhile, the opening of the Dapa Extension Office, as well as the Nasipit Mobile Unit were done and initiated by Director Mama-o to serve Siargao Island and the western part of Agusan del Norte.
Over the years, several improvements were noted for the regional offices, notably the establishment of the Surigao, Dapa and Cabadbaran District Offices, as well as the opening of the Trento Extension Office.
Now, the leadership of the DOTr-Caraga has come full circle with the appointment of Director Mama-o in November 9, 2016, who was also the regional director from 2001 to June 2003.
With his vast experience in the regional office operation, he has been at he forefront of several reforms in the LTO and LTFRB operations. He has also strengthened the Planning and Technical Services Division, which has resulted to the recommendation of the DBM for the inclusion of 11 infrastructure projects in the proposed General Appropriations Act (GAA) for CY 2018. He has also reinvigorated the Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS) of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that enabled the regional office to produce milestone achievements.
For 22 years now, the men and women of the DOTr-Caraga have been at the forefront in delivering effective and efficient government services to the public through its transportation registration and licensing, as well as the regulation of public transportation services. It will continue to do so in the coming years ahead, armed with their belief that true service is the key to real change.
Now that the DOTr-Caraga Regional Office XIII is celebrating its 22nd Founding Anniversary on August 11, 2017, in time with the current leadership of H.E. President Rodrigo R. Duterte, and of the esteemed Secretary of Transportation Arthur P. Tugade, the officers and staff of the regional office is assuring the people of Caraga that they are giving them the best care and attention. They pledge their ever-counting support to the reform measures that everyone is inclined to do in the pursuit of the real CHANGE that the Filipino people are aspiring for.